Tuesday, December 27, 2011


It's all done and dusted ... it always seem so incredible to me that we plan and prepare for many weeks, and then, in what feels like the blink of an eye, it's all over.
Hope your Christmas was fantastic - Ours was, infact I'd go as far as saying that it was my favorite Christmas since we've lived in the USA, so far away from our families.

Hubby decided that we'd plan a great suprise for the kids this year - 2011 was an exceptionally hard year for us ..... 14 months of unemployment (thankfully this came to an end in November), takes its toll on any family. We've come out on the other side of it though, stronger and with a new appreciation for what is really important. This was our way of spoiling the kids. We booked into Great Wolf Lodge for Christmas night (after we'd had our traditional Mommy cooked Christmas Lunch at home). It was fantastic, and we had an absolute blast!!!!

I finished all the gifts I had planned to make ..... whew, it was close:-) I'm here to share with you, The 2011 Cookie and Candy Tray!!! This is the tray I give to our neighbors and friends.

I found these appetizer/dessert tiered trays on clearance at Walmart in the summer - $2 each!!! They've lived up in my spare room, with just this purpose in mind. For the bottom layer, I made butter shortbread .... scrumptious!!! For the top layer I made peanut clusters, key lime bark, white chocolate peppermint bark and milk chocolate peppermint bark - I really love what they look like. The bottom picture shows them all wrapped up in their cellophane and red tulle ribbon goodness!!!!

Enjoy this week of calm, as we savor the last that 2011 has for us, and look forward to all that 2012 will be for us.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


And these were VERY last minute this year. I'd had them on my" To Do" list, but time got away with me, and well, last night arrived and I had to come up with a plan, pronto!!!! I needed to do 7 gifts!!!
What did I have in the house (now we all know Walmart is open 24/7, but I really didn't want to have to leave my warm house) ..... quart mason jars, cellophane and tulle (these are staples in our home, year round), and then of course I had got down to some candy making yesterday.

So, I filled one quart jar with homemade key lime bark, and a second one with peppermint bark.
I cut circles of Christmas scrapbook paper and glued it to the lids. I glued ribbon around the rings of the jars. I piled them on top of one other, wrapped them in cellophane and added a tulle bow and a little Christmas ornament ..... Done!!!!
They'd make nice neighbor, mailman ... anyone, you want to give a little something too .... gifts:-)

At last the kids are finished with school - Yay!!! We can now get down to some serious Christmas nesting!!! Warm fluffy jammies all day long, fluffy socks, Christmas movies and endless Christmas mugs of hot chocolate ..... just us, warm and snuggly at home:-)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Luckily my niece and nephew are way too little to read my blog, so I'm safe showing you these little cuties, before Santa harnesses his reindeer, takes to his sleigh, climbs down the chimney and delivers them:-)

I sent each of the babies some books and a little book buddy that I made them. Bertha's pattern comes from THAT book again .... you know, my all time favorite Rebbeca Danger - Big Book Of Knitted Monsters. She is actually the Attic Monster in the book. I just love her top knot!!!! Bert is a pattern I drew myself. I wanted soft and squishy, and the perfect size for little 9 month old hands to hold.
Wow, time is short now!!! I'm almost there ..... just the baking to do. I think today is going to be candy making day .... nut brittle, peppermint and key lime bark, salted caramels, peanut clusters .... let's see if it all gets done!!!!
I have to share Boy Childs cake decorating with you. Last night was our Cub Scout Pack - Dad and Lad Cake Bake Competition. The theme was camping, and this year Boy Child did most of the work himself, from mixing to decorating. I'm so proud of his effort. He didn't win any of the prizes, but that didn't matter.

Tents around a campfire. Please note the fish waiting to be cooked ..... it's camping, it's my son, so that means there has to be fish in there somewhere:-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Faster than ever ......
It happens every year, I try to be organized, but somewhere along the way, it all goes awry!!! This year my preparations have certainly been better though. Unfortunately a very sick guinea pig has thrown a spanner in the works, as he's requiring a lot of attention right now. He is Girl Childs friend ... she adores him. We've done what we can, but it's not looking good right now .... my heart breaks for her. To top it off too, we lost his little friend about 6 weeks ago (they're old, rescue piggies) - the relentless sobbing and funeral scene are still VERY fresh in my mind. To see your child so inconsolably sad was heartbreaking.
I do have some things to show you though .... there's a lot I cant. The recipients of the things I'll show you now, don't even know that I have this little blog, so I'm safe!!!

A mug rug - made using the left overs from the table runner I made for Shawnees Table Runner Swap. Lots of room for a steaming mug of coffee, and a delicious cookie or two (come on, it's Christmas, you know you want that second one:-)

I warned you there'd be more of these ..... such lovely results for such a little amount of work .... Aahhh, the perfect Christmas project!!!

I am impatiently waiting for a package of yarn that I've ordered .... Girl Child saw this beauty that Lucy made http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/blooming-flower-cushion.html , and mentioned how she'd REALLY love one for her room. I couldn't find colors that would work in her room at Joanns or Hobby Lobby, but I did online ...... fingers crossed it arrives in time for me to burn some midnight oil ..... we'll have to see.
Wishing y'all a little quiet time, to enjoy this wonderful season.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


While browsing through my pictures, I came across some aprons that I've made, but not shared with you yet. There is also one that I put together today, using 2 dishtowels and a roll of grosgrain ribbon .... super quick and easy, but oh so festive!!!!

I found the tutorial for the pleated skirt part of the apron on a blog .... now I cant seem to find it again - ugghh. I added a bib to it, just because that's what I prefer.

Then this one, using my all time favorite apron pattern ..... it was this pattern that won me my 2nd place ribbon at the Texas State Fair back in September.

This is the dishtowel apron!!! Very bright and festive. The dishtowels came as a 2 pack from Target .... 2 seams and some ribbon, and I was done. Who wouldn't want to pull out the cookie sheets and start baking wearing such festive attire?
Now for a quick peek into all the mischief those 2 little mischief makers (aka Gabby & Bart) have been getting up to ....

Who wouldn't want a friend with springy legs? Imagine how much fun you could have with that!!!

They must definately be missing home ..... my car was reindeerified (Yes, there is such a word. We found it in the elf dictionary). We jingle wherever we go now!!!

They are fearless!!! A spot of elf balloonchuting!!! When you're so small, all you need is a few helium filled balloons and away you go .... jumping off the top of the stairs!!!! No wonder santa has grey hair!!!!
Hope your Christmas preparations are on track ....

Monday, December 5, 2011


This is what our mantle looks like this year, and I love it!!!! I love this kind of light ..... it's warm, welcoming and oh so pretty!!!! It is also 100% made by me. Yes, each of those houses started out as one of those brown paper mache shells that you buy at your local craft store for a couple of bucks ..... some love (ok ... paint, glitter and snowtex too), and I have a little village that I'm soooo proud of.
The original reason I made them was for this ..

Our Church Annual Womens Christmas Brunch. I have attended it now every year for about 5 years ..... it is gorgeous. Ladies sign up to decorate a table, and believe me when I tell you - those girls have some talent!!!! This year our small group decided to buy out the tickets for a table, and asked me if I would decorate it. I said yes, but let me tell you, I nearly backed out a number of times - I was terrified to do it!!! I was delighted with the final result though. I made the 3 yard table runners to mark place settings .... the part I liked most about them, you can't see in the photo .... I made big pink yarn tassels to hang at the points:-} The houses were the centerpiece for the table.

They look so pretty, and we'll be enjoying them all season long!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011


They're back, for another December of fun and mischief!!!!

This is how we found them .... all snuggled up, and no doubt exhausted from that long sleigh ride.

Their keeper for the next 24 days is delighted to have them back .... they been smothered with love since arriving, and I've been given a long list of instructions on how I'm to care for them while he's at school!!!

Last night, while all was quiet and everyone was cuddled up asleep, they decided on a game of foosball ... halloween glasses and all!!! The carpet was littered with snow and cracker crumbs .... Santa and Mrs Claus really need to work on table manners with these little guys - they need a bit of refining!!!
Welcome Back Little Elf Friends .... we're glad you've come to stay.